Category — Aches and Pains
There are more medical pain relief options today than ever before and the list continues to grow. Though certain circumstances certainly warrant the use of prescription and over-the-counter remedies, the practice of employing more natural techniques to relieve common physical maladies is becoming more common among people of all ages throughout the world.
One of the most common causes of chronic discomfort and decrease in mobility in people over the age of 50 is arthritis. Aching stiffness affects multiple joints in the body, particularly the knees, hips, spine, shoulders, elbows and hands. Patients find it difficult to comfortably engage in everyday activities and often need to take various prescription medications to deal with the pain.
Though these methods have been shown to have a positive effect in many cases, millions of people still suffer severe symptoms on a daily basis. The addition of natural techniques can help to amplify the effects of a prescription anti-inflammatory medications if it is not possible or not advised to cease medication. Water therapy, yoga, tai chi and adding healthier foods to your diet, for example, help immensely to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that allow joints to be more mobile and move properly. Alternating ice and heat can reduce inflammation in affected joints. Massage can also serve as a useful complement to an active lifestyle, releasing built-up tension, aiding stress management techniques and increasing circulation to important muscle groups throughout the body.
Another highly useful method involves the use of biofeedback, a highly advanced technique that involves electronic sensors that are attached to various parts of the patient’s body. The sensors monitor changes in muscle tension, brainwaves and changes in body temperature in response to your thoughts and feelings. A signal, such as an audible tone or a brief flash of light, alerts the patient and the professional conducting the session to physical stimuli. This allows the patient to consciously take note of which thoughts or feelings result in physiological reactions, including painful body aches. When performed by an experienced psychiatric professional, biofeedback sessions are considered safe and highly effective.
As always, it is highly recommended that you speak with your doctor regarding pain management and potential pain relief alternatives before ceasing to take any prescribed medication.
Over the last several years, researchers have unearthed a new factor related to several diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. That factor is inflammation.
Most of us are familiar with acute inflammation. We get a cut or another injury, and our immune system rushes white cell “rescuers” to the site to try to prevent or destroy infection. As the wound heals, it is no longer inflamed.
The type of inflammation that concerns researchers, however, is the body’s response to lower level chronic irritants. These irritants may be caused by smoking, long term stress, eating foods high in fat and carrying excess weight around the midsection.
When addressing low-level irritants, the body’s immune system can do more harm than good. In cardiovascular disease, for instance, white blood cells enter the arteries that are being attacked by LDL, also known as the bad cholesterol. The entry of the white blood cells actually weakens the artery, placing the person at higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
Although researchers are now saying that inflammation is a leading cause of many diseases, most people outside of the medical profession are not aware of the risks.
If you have any of the risk factors of low-level inflammation including obesity, smoking, a diet high in fat, or high levels of stress, be proactive. Call your doctor and ask for lab work to measure your c-reactive protein. This protein, which can be measured by a blood test, indicates how much inflammation exists in your body.
Even if your cholesterol level is not elevated, a higher than normal c-reactive protein can still put you at high risk for cardiovascular problems and other disease processes.
When it comes to handling this issue, doctors suggest that you stop smoking if you are a smoker and that you exercise and eat a low-calorie diet to get rid of excess weight. Statins, a type of drug used to lower cholesterol, may also protect the arteries from damage.
The jury is still out when it comes to identifying a specific diet to cure or prevent it. Foods that top the list of promising possibilities include fresh fruits and vegetables, unsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and low-fat dairy foods.
Red meats, sweets and pasta are at the top of the list of foods to avoid.
If you have risk factors for heart disease, talk to your doctor about taking a c-reactive protein test and about options to reduce low level inflammation in your body.
Emphysema is a degenerative condition of the lungs included in a category of respiratory illnesses called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. It is more common in individuals who smoke tobacco or are exposed to high amounts of air pollution. The destruction of tissues that occurs is permanent and can lead to a variety of dangerous complications.
The majority of people who develop emphysema don’t generally begin to experience symptoms until after the age of 40, but heavy smokers and people who work in high risk environments like factories and chemical plants may develop the condition earlier. Signs and symptoms of the condition include persistent pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, a feeling of tightness when exhaling, shortness of breath even when at rest, excessive fatigue and a persistent cough. The coughing frequently results in the expulsion of mucus, however mucus is not always present.
COPD is a debilitating leading health issue that affects approximately 32 million people in the United States. Because the disease is currently incurable, medical professionals strongly emphasize the importance of taking proactive steps toward prevention. These include avoiding potentially hazardous elements in your environment, eliminating smoking and scheduling a regular doctor’s visit for checkups, particularly if you are prone to or at a high risk for respiratory illnesses due to genetic factors. An x-ray and advanced CT scan may be performed if your doctor suspects potential complications.
If you are diagnosed with emphysema or chronic bronchitis, your doctor will provide you with information on how to manage it and ease your symptoms. You may be prescribed inhaled steroids and be required to use an oxygen hose. This ensure that your body and brain receive sufficient oxygen even when your lungs fail to function completely. In severe cases in which the condition is immediately life-threatening, surgery may be required to remove tissue that has been destroyed. A lung transplant is considered to be the last resort in especially serious cases of these diseases. Though lung damage cannot be reversed, doctors remind patients diagnosed with respiratory conditions like these that it is never too late to stop smoking and improve their overall quality of life.
As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to certain ailments and conditions. Some conditions, like arthritis, affect the bones and the joints. There are many chronic conditions that become more common and can unfortunately affect our independence and ability to get around. Some of them can unfortunately affect our vision. One example is a condition called glaucoma, which often starts due to a build-up of the fluid within our eyes and then starts to damage the optic nerve. Damage to that nerve can cause problems in vision and lead to blindness. It can occur suddenly due to injury to the eye, or it can happen over a period of time.
There are actually four distinct types of this condition. The most common is called open-angle, and is a genetic condition that runs in families. It occurs gradually over a period of time. Another type is congenital, which is also hereditary and can affect infants. Angle-closure is an acute condition that starts suddenly and can be very painful. And finally, secondary glaucoma can occur as a side effect from certain drugs or another type of eye disease. All four types are serious and can have long-term effects, especially if they go untreated. People who may be at risk for the hereditary form of this illness should be extra vigilant about receiving proper medical care.
Symptoms may include feeling pressure within the eyes, pain, reduced sight, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. There are different treatment options available depending on which type is diagnosed. Sometimes doctors may recommend surgery in order to help relieve the pressure and symptoms to help restore sight. Sometimes treatment options may just include eye drops and medications. Diagnosis and management is very important, and that’s why getting a comprehensive eye exam by a qualified professional is something that should be done at the first sign of any symptoms.
There are two things that come automatic with the season of fall. Leaves turning all sorts and different shades of amazing yellows, winter is just around the corner, and of course the dreaded flu season. As humans beings susceptible to a bad cold has been with us since the day we were born, and although we try all sorts of home remedies and little tricks we cannot escape it. Influenza being an extremely contagious respiratory virus, it can enter the body through eyes, nose, mouth, or mucus membranes. Once someone brings it home from work or school the saying of “game over” best describes the state of the rest of the family, resembling a domino effect as everyone becomes sick.
The symptoms are easily recognizable it call all start with a light sore throat, watery eyes, runny nose, front headache and in some cases a fever. Once any of this manifests what doctors typically recommend is a simple recipe of lots of rest, low stress, and drink plenty of liquids. Staying home is a must since bacteria is so easily spreadable; we want to avoid having our whole office come down with it. For about eighty five percent of the population that is all it takes, but unfortunately there are those who are less fortunate with a compromised immune system, that need much more attention and simply being careful. The elderly are very susceptible complications and can easily end up in a hospital from it evolving into serious complications, like pneumonia.
Thankfully thanks to the medical world and huge advancements there is something to be done about it, and it only takes one short to your nearest corner pharmacy, or enter your zip code to find a vaccine location. A flu vaccine is not only beneficial but also recommended by your doctor since for those with higher chances of complications; it could really be a huge difference from just light discomfort to a trip to the hospital. Get all the information needed form your medical professional and ask about prevention. Once in a while we will hear of other sorts of influenzas and by having this preventative measure, it will give anyone better odds of being healthy, which is a wonderful way to avoid pain and discomfort.
There is one medical condition in the United States that isn’t far behind heart disease that can lead to an early exit from this earth, COPD, which is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This means quite a few people are affected, somewhere around the 10 million mark. Being that this is a reality causing complication for so many we will go over a few things that can be done to lower the risk of getting this disorder.
1. It is best to go ahead and stop smoking cigarettes. Many chronic lung disorders have at their root cause this one thing. Eliminate smoke, either directly or second hand from your environment. This is true for those who already have it because it might be possible to slow down the progression. It is not the easiest thing to give up, outside help can do wonders to make this a success.
2. Avoid chemicals and pollutants that may cause irritation. Quite a few individuals work around harmful chemical fumes on a regular basis, such as painting cars or homes, or being in close contact with cleaning agents. If a career change is not an option, it is possible to wear a breathing protection mask with a filter, or some type of oxygen ventilation system. If you have further concerns, speak to the supervisor about other things that may be available in the work place.
3. A healthy diet and regular exercise should never be overlooked, a very powerful way to improve health. Not only will it boost your immune system, but also how well the heart function and it activity will improve lung function. A well-balanced diet with protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber that will keep essential nutrients vitamins and minerals at optimal levels. Being overweight can alter how easy it should be to breathe, make sure to drop the pounds to help improve this vital action. It can also work to lower stress levels, which seems to keep the entire system functioning better. Begin the changes slowly, and work up to exercising for 30 minutes at least four to five days a week, given that it is something positive your doctor thinks should be done.
4. If you already have COPD, avoiding respiratory infections should be your highest priority. Pneumonia and the flu are not fun and can put you in the hospital quickly, those with a compromised immune system can benefit from the pneumonia and influenza vaccines.
5. Kids need to be protected. It is nice and positive when someone looks out for others, understanding that what is done at this moment can alter the future and steer the outcome in one direction or the other. All of the recommendations listed above need to apply to children, giving them good odds to avoid all these issues. It might even help keep asthma out of the picture for them.
Common knowledge out on the street, at home, and of course told by the health care professionals is that exercise is good and we should do plenty of it. Such a complication here is that some of us, as much as we would like to, find it tough or have little time to invest in our bodies. Things like running and jogging are hard to do, and some choose to give up. Fortunately there are so many new types of exercises that have made huge waves in our communities that don’t take hours to complete, like yoga and pilates. The latter focuses on strengthening core muscles, namely the back and the abdomen, which are known to be ideal since training muscles in your pelvis, hips, lower back and abdomen to work as a group. Leading to better stability and balance, which by in return helps posture improve, all leading to an appearance of a body that looks longer.
For Arthritis sufferers pilates are good news not only because it helps to focus our mind and relieve stress, but also it can lower joint pain levels caused by any number of conditions. So whether you are a sport enthusiast who is looking to enhance performance or a beginner who just wants to get into shape, this specific activity has something for everyone. It incorporates things that work the entire body in order to make the kinetic system become more efficient. Unlike other types, this one does not emphasize repetition as being the most important aspect. The movements are precise, controlled, and must be done in a certain form.
If you are the type of person whom is barely trying to start out with a new program, this may just be what your doctor ordered, since levels of intensity can be programmed into the workout. Whether if it is to compliment what is already being done a regular basis or to relieve aches and pains that accompany most of us over the age of 50, incorporating this practice offers a huge benefit.
The itching and swelling of varicose veins can be problematic for many individuals. They are unpleasant on the eyes as well as making it uncomfortable. If you suffer from this medical abnormality, you may be wondering what the cause is, how to prevent the formation, and which treatment is best.
There are many factors that can contribute to the development. First, it may be hereditary. Often, if someone in the family them, odds are you may be at risk in the future. This is especially true for those who are overweight, specifically with excessive amounts of body fat. Age is another contributing factor. The aging process entails veins losing elasticity. The valves then become weak and blood has a tendency to pool in the legs, where gravity pulls it down. Many women also discover that pregnancy leads to this. The circulatory changes that occur during pregnancy along with increased blood volume can prevent it from flowing normally. The good news is that self correction typically occurs within a few months after giving birth.
It is impossible to avoid it for each person, however action can be taken to help this issue from forming. Thirty minutes of exercise daily will improve leg strength and the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, which will improve circulation. Another simple thing to do is avoid standing for long periods without moving. If you have an occupation that requires you to stand in one place for extended time periods, your risk will increase. Try to walk, bounce on your toes several times per hour, or even shift your weight back and forth from one leg to another. Don’t get offended if others give a weird look, it is worth the health benefits.
Talking to a physician about options is a smart move if they exist. Individuals who have a diagnosis of severe varicose veins may consider laser treatment. This procedure does not require surgery, however it might take a longer period of time to repair. If laser is not a feasible, there are simple things you can do that may help. First, elevating each leg above the heart is good. This will help encourage proper body function. If there is a lot of pain involved a warm compress may help to alleviate any discomfort.
Many arthritis sufferers are well prepared people and are often thinking one step ahead of what could improve their condition or simply avoiding pain. They have made wise decisions about losing weight because thinner people have less pressure on their joints, focusing on eating high quality foods and sticking to a clean diet to keep the heart healthy; as well as everything on that list that the doctor has ordered. However missing the little details within the home could make a huge difference, and this for example is making things that take much more effort become easier. We are going to discuss a things to think about that can make the home safer for individuals over the age of 50 that suffer from Arthritic diseases.
Bending over to get in the bathtub, clothing accessories that do not require a half hour to button up a shirt, rubber jar openers, reachers, avoiding stairs or moving to a new one story place. Thinking about these things and taking safeguarding measures can prevent further damage to the joints and not have you experience pain. Most new injuries happen in a familiar surrounding so hire someone that is healthy to get the job done and simply supervise on what needs to be done. If it is out of reach or a lack of desire to change, well maybe there is enough space on the first floor where a simple bathroom can be put in without much effort. The years will only keep adding to what we currently have our health will keep deteriorating, so if in a position to where things can be done about it now, the future will be a much better place to live in.
If you spend a lot of time reading, you may discover that upon standing your back, neck, and shoulders ache. This is a common problem among individuals who love to read books. Focusing on your posture while reading can reduce or eliminate your pain.
The most important thing to remember is to sit in a manner that provides the most support to your upper body. The head weighs quite a bit and because of this keeping it angled down or to the side for quite some time will lead to problems. You always want to keep your spine in a neutral position. To do this, sit straight up in your chair with your tailbone snug against the chair’s back, and try to keep your feet flat on the floor. Avoid slouching your shoulders and lowering your face to read, you want the spinal region to remain straight the entire time. Instead, raise your book up to meet your eyes. If it’s more comfortable for you, you may want to prop your elbows up on a couple of pillows. This will prevent your arms from becoming tired as they hold up your book. Make sure to get up and take breaks every once in a while, do something such as go outside and go for a walk or go for a quick bike ride. Poor posture is one of the most common reasons for aches and pains. Paying close attention to the way you sit can help reduce your risk of injuries, while allowing you to enjoy activities you love.